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Old 03-10-2019, 06:38 AM #1
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Default Being dependent on medications.

So, so often I hear people say things like: " I do not want to become dependent on meds" "I should be able to do the things that meds do for me so I shouldnt need them" " I had side effects with xyz meds so I refuse to try new meds" " I have tried EVERY med out there and the combos-nothing works"

Stuff like that. And I have found that those types of statements or feelings seem to be most common when talking about psychiatric meds.
What is wrong about being dependent on psychiatric meds? I have high blood pressure and am dependent on Metropolol- there is nothing wrong. I have Sjogren's disease and dry eyes and light sensitivity so I wear night vision glasses and am dependent on them. A diabetic is dependent on their insulin.

Why is it ok for us to say we do not want to be dependent on meds for our mental health yet be willing to be dependent on something like blood pressure meds? And before anyone says it I will: People are quick to point out that without blood pressure meds you could have a heart attack. That without insulin you could die. That without glasses you may not be able to drive or read. stuff like that. Because poor mental health and untreated mental health is as -or more dangerous to our well being. And that has been proven time and again- read here about those suffering and how meds have saved their lives, then you can maybe see the merit in treatment and taking medication.
Another thing I see and hear is people do not want to be addicted to meds. And very often they swap dependence addiction. Dependence does not mean addiction.

I was addicted to alcohol.
Someone is addicted to drugs.
Others are addicted to prescription drugs.
I am dependent on my cymbalta.
You will not see me standing on the corner tweeking out because being dependent on medication means I can manage my addictions. It means that someone can manage their bipolar, or depression or anxiety

A lot of people or groups prey upon us by stoking the fears about medication. Or feel like its a lack of will power or desire to get well. Go into a mental health ward and find me someone who likes having a mental illness and just happens to have no will power so they just go along being miserable.
Scientologists are famous for these types of thinking. They believe it is you own fault for having a mental illness (if you can get a scientologist to even believe in mental illness) and its about the negative energy and past memories that are causing the illness.
Science has proven time and again that there are genetic links predisposing people to mental illnesses and that there are actual chemical imbalances in the brain that medication can correct. I read in depth wordy information about the meds I take and if I could explain and understand chemistry better I would share it.
But it is a fact that these medications treat a very real thing that not only manifests itself physically, but mentally too.

I am writing this disjointed post in hopes of putting people at ease, trying to clarify misinformation but mostly because I am very passionate about science and evidence based treatments.

What do you all think?
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:13 AM #2
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Default Re: Being dependent on medications.

Sarahsweets,

I hear what you are saying and, yes, of course it is valid to use psych drugs to manage mental health conditions. Without them, some people could not manage.

It's a complicated topic because psych drugs can be powerful and imperfect.

I did not take any psych drugs until I was 48. I finally admitted to having suicidal thoughts and wanting to treat it in the most cost effective manner, I elected to use my insurance to go to a psychiatrist. He asked questions about my symptoms and history, prescribed Bupropion (Welbutrin) and Xanax saying "This will make you feel better." I did but it was just treating my symptoms. The drugs can only do so much. When we all became unemployed/lost our insurance (I was 51), I made the decision to stop going to the psychiatrist then one month after stopping the Bupropion, I made my one and only attempt that resulted in near death (20 days in the hospital then 5 days IP). I truly believe starting then going cold turkey was worse than not starting at all.

We all react to these drugs differently and have to weigh carefully the benefits vs disadvantages. I do think some people need or just benefit from them. Lately, I need to take mine because when I don't for a while, my blood pressure gets dangerously high (anxiety). I honestly can't figure out if my blood pressure issue is because I have gotten dependent (it is what my body has adjusted to) on the drugs or it is because of the very serious issues my family is dealing with. I am taking the drugs in order to stay calm while dealing with it all. I want to take them because I stay calmer under stress on my medications. I honestly wonder if I would need them as much if some of the things going on with my family weren't. So I see both sides of the issue.....
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:16 AM #3
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Default Re: Being dependent on medications.

Sarah, I agree with you.

I want to point out that psychiatric drugs have been designed with timeframes. A pharmacist told me that anti-depressants were actually intended to only be taken for a year so yeah, there does exist a questionable dependency for some who take them. But, if you can only manage them then I see no problem with sticking with them. Interestingly though, the same pharmacist pointed out that other psychiatric medication - anti-psychotics for example - are designed to take for life.
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:30 AM #4
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Default Re: Being dependent on medications.

I totally agree Sarahsweets.

I need my psych meds and will take them for the rest of my life. I could probably "survive" without them, but I wouldn't call it living. I wouldn't be able to hold down a job. My parents would probably take me in, but I would be miserable. Why would I choose misery when I can feel better?

That said, it may depend on the causes of the illness. I truly believe my depression is mostly genetic. I have it even when there is nothing wrong in my life, and I don't have a history of past trauma. For people who have dealt with trauma, I think therapy can be just as important as meds.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:28 AM #5
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Default Re: Being dependent on medications.

Thankyou for posting this so many people do not relize there is a need for meds and there is no shame in taking them.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:57 PM #6
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Default Re: Being dependent on medications.

First off , well said !

I've been off medication a few times and usually starts out ok but doesn't end up very well... What I've learned from being on medication is that it's just one of the many tools I use to keep myself well .
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:14 PM #7
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Default Re: Being dependent on medications.

Thanks for posting this! I have been off of medication before, and it's not pretty. There's a stigma attached to taking medicine for mental health issues. Yet my therapist has been reminding me as of late that it's pretty likely that nobody knows I have a mental illness aside from those who I have told directly. It's hard for me to realize because I think my mental illness defines me at times. But it's also true that anyone who meets me for the first time is not going to know that I have a mental illness somehow.

It's interesting though that some people don't frown upon taking something for high blood pressure, or any physical ailment, for that matter, yet some do look poorly upon taking mental health medications. I think there's some degree of misinformation involved that the public has about mental health medications combined with the stigma of mental health issues. From that, you get a lot of conflicting information. And that affected my feelings, more or less, until I learned how to cope with those thoughts that I should stop taking meds.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:22 PM #8
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Default Re: Being dependent on medications.

I see our needing to take psychiatric drugs like our need to take other drugs to keep our bodies functioning right--such as thyroid medicine and blood pressure meds. Yes, we need to keep taking psych drugs, but we also need to keep taking a lot of other drugs, too, else we get into health problems.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:44 PM #9
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Default Being dependent on medications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
So, so often I hear people say things like: " I do not want to become dependent on meds" "I should be able to do the things that meds do for me so I shouldnt need them" " I had side effects with xyz meds so I refuse to try new meds" " I have tried EVERY med out there and the combos-nothing works"



Stuff like that. And I have found that those types of statements or feelings seem to be most common when talking about psychiatric meds.

What is wrong about being dependent on psychiatric meds? I have high blood pressure and am dependent on Metropolol- there is nothing wrong. I have Sjogren's disease and dry eyes and light sensitivity so I wear night vision glasses and am dependent on them. A diabetic is dependent on their insulin.



Why is it ok for us to say we do not want to be dependent on meds for our mental health yet be willing to be dependent on something like blood pressure meds? And before anyone says it I will: People are quick to point out that without blood pressure meds you could have a heart attack. That without insulin you could die. That without glasses you may not be able to drive or read. stuff like that. Because poor mental health and untreated mental health is as -or more dangerous to our well being. And that has been proven time and again- read here about those suffering and how meds have saved their lives, then you can maybe see the merit in treatment and taking medication.

Another thing I see and hear is people do not want to be addicted to meds. And very often they swap dependence addiction. Dependence does not mean addiction.



I was addicted to alcohol.

Someone is addicted to drugs.

Others are addicted to prescription drugs.

I am dependent on my cymbalta.

You will not see me standing on the corner tweeking out because being dependent on medication means I can manage my addictions. It means that someone can manage their bipolar, or depression or anxiety



A lot of people or groups prey upon us by stoking the fears about medication. Or feel like its a lack of will power or desire to get well. Go into a mental health ward and find me someone who likes having a mental illness and just happens to have no will power so they just go along being miserable.

Scientologists are famous for these types of thinking. They believe it is you own fault for having a mental illness (if you can get a scientologist to even believe in mental illness) and its about the negative energy and past memories that are causing the illness.

Science has proven time and again that there are genetic links predisposing people to mental illnesses and that there are actual chemical imbalances in the brain that medication can correct. I read in depth wordy information about the meds I take and if I could explain and understand chemistry better I would share it.

But it is a fact that these medications treat a very real thing that not only manifests itself physically, but mentally too.



I am writing this disjointed post in hopes of putting people at ease, trying to clarify misinformation but mostly because I am very passionate about science and evidence based treatments.



What do you all think?


I agree with you. If the medication works, take it. I tried several and didn’t tolerate the side effects. I would be willing to try something again though and if it worked I see no reason not to take it.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:05 PM #10
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Default Re: Being dependent on medications.

Aside from scientologists, there's a lot of anti-psych-medication authors out there like Robert Whitaker, Peter Breggin, and Kelly Brogin (she seems a bit strange). And Johann Hari who wrote Lost Connections. I have his book. People eat their words up. Like a friend of mine. She is anti med now. After reading their works. I am not anti med. I think there's value to taking meds. I don't think everyone needs them. I happen to need them. Many need them.

I think the answer about meds is different for everyone. I see medication as a tool to help me. Thing is, my AD really helped for a year and now I'm struggling again. I wish I cared to learn more about meds myself.

I also knew someone who was anti med, who said "big pharma" is corrupt and not to take meds. Be that corruption as it may, I still need meds. Hearing him talk was really stressful. Why must people blah blah all over others when they think they know more? He was very unhappy. It seemed like he thought he was "better" though for choosing not to take western medicine.

Thank you for posting, Sarahsweets. Empowering post.
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